A home demo is mailed out to a handful of radio stations strictly as a means of getting feedback from industry professionals. The programmers listen, like what they hear, and slip a song called Over You
into light rotation. Starting with KISS-FM in Vancouver, the phones light up and the spins increase. Within a matter of months the song has been added to several play lists, charting in the Top Ten at many and as high as #1 or #2 on some.
"It was thrilling but also a complete shock and surprise," admits Chris Janz, the now 29-year-old Abbotsford, B.C. singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist responsible for that unparalleled bedroom demo. The fact that Chris is the talented son of Canadian recording artist and Juno Award-winner Paul Janz undoubtedly gave him an initial edge.
Yet it was the song itself, a sweeping, expertly crafted pop number from an artist favourably compared to Savage Garden by the influential U.S. music columnist Bob Lefsetz, that had listeners calling in with questions about the mystery singer with the soulful, yearning voice.
Rather than rushing out a commercial release to capitalize on the airplay, Chris bided his time, continuing his professional life as a producer/engineer while writing, recording and polishing an album's worth of strong material. Fly
, his Pacific Music / Warner Music debut, proves the wait has paid dividends. The collection of 13 warmly upbeat adult pop tunes marks the formal debut of a bright new presence in Canadian music.
Lead single Found Myself in You
is a mellifluous, piano-based love song with a gently persuasive heartbeat pulse. The equally engaging, melodically rich Amazing
give the album depth over the long haul.
While he spent a year in formal piano studies, Chris is otherwise self-taught; he has mastered guitar, bass, drums and a variety of keyboards through long hours of practice. All that versatility allowed him to record the original version of Over You
entirely on his own. The song's unexpected success gave him a fresh burst of confidence and spurred him onwards. Contemporary Christian artist Janelle
used five of his songs on her Juno-nominated album Livin' For Something
(2005). And now he's finally in a position to step out officially as a recording artist in his own right.